Remember what I said about the antidote to sugar being fat? Well, it’s true. And the people who attended last night’s Cookies & Cocktails in support of the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, proved it.
In addition to the official judges picks, there were also people’s choice awards given for best cocktail and best dish.
Everything at the event either had Girl Scout cookies in it, on it, or with it. You might be surprised how well Brown’s Vienna Lager pairs with Do-si-dos. So with all of these sweets, it makes total sense that the dish from Old Daley Catering featuring a giant hunk of tender, fatty, pork belly was the crowd favorite for food.
The judges top picks were a bit different from the people’s choice awards for a perfectly reasonable list of reasons. We picked Ama Cocina’s street corn topped with crumbled lemony Savannah Smiles, because we got to evaluate it when it was still hot and awesome. Plus I wonder if being upstairs might have had an impact in the popular vote.
Regardless, there was one thing from the event that truly knocked my socks off. Mostly, I suspect, because by all measures I should have hated it. But it was brilliant. And that’s a word that I don’t use lightly.
People like sweeter cocktails than I do. That’s not news. So I wasn’t surprised to see the Caramel Whiskey Kiss from Brown’s Brewing Company come out on top. It had irish whiskey, caramel vodka, and ginger beer, and it was paired with samoa crumble mini cakes. Actually, I enjoyed the cocktail much better after a bite of the cake, which made the drink appear notably less sweet.
But the drink that was my favorite of the night, and took the judges prize was the Gimme S’more Shots from Old Daley Catering.
I hate s’mores, I don’t care for shots, and I have no love for vodka. So what gives?
To understand my love for this creation, allow me to give you the executive summary for why I hate s’mores. They are far too sweet, made with terrible chocolate that doesn’t really melt, and served as a sandwich on crackers with a coarse, sandy texture.
This drink solved all of those problems, and did it with a flair and creativity that was mesmerizing. Because the shot “glass” itself was made from a toasted marshmallow.
Starting in the traditional way, with a marshmallow on a stick, the outside edges were charred by a blowtorch. With a deft hand and a gentle touch, a charred marshmallow shell was twisted off, producing a cup like vessel. This was then stuffed with a thin, dark chocolate cylinder, and that was filled with a Girl Scout S’mores cookie infused vodka. It was the liquid that provided the graham cracker flavor.
Yes, the construction of this drink was impressive. However, what really stood out were the balance of flavors. Not only that, but it’s almost as if Old Daley Catering understood the flaws of S’mores in general and were able to correct for them.
Instead of the sticky sweetness of the original, this had remarkable complexity. The char on the marshmallow was part of that, as was the dark chocolate. But pulling out the core of the marshmallow also helped to get the proportions right.
And using a cookie infused vodka alone, instead of calling into play some sticky sweet liqueur, kept this creation from slipping over into the realm of confection.
The fact that it was also rather small, and had no more than a tablespoon of vodka in the shot, made the “shot” aspect of this entry much less alarming. It was more like a sip, and that was all anyone really needed.
I only wish I took a video of the construction of this cocktail. It was brilliant. Bravo to the team at Old Daley Catering, and congratulations to all of the winners from last night’s affair. It raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York, and I was thrilled to be able to be a part of it.